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Cold War Reenactors? Reforger anyone?


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Cold War re-enacting sounds great, I was in Berlin Brigade from 86-90, B 6/502nd Inf.

 

Just one favor please.

 

Can I carry something other than the 90mm recoiless rifle? It's hard to find blanks for it java script:add_smilie("nerv0003.gif","smid_45")

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Hey all you Berlin Brigade guys/gals

 

Do you remember staying off the "PARADE SIDE" of the Tanks, and APCs after we coated them in breakfree and baby oil?. How about Doughboy City in the middle of winter, or the DBC (Deputy Brigade Commander) roadmarch each quarter? BB Guard anyone???

 

These are a few of my favorite things.....

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Hey all you Berlin Brigade guys/gals

 

Do you remember staying off the "PARADE SIDE" of the Tanks, and APCs after we coated them in breakfree and baby oil?. How about Doughboy City in the middle of winter, or the DBC (Deputy Brigade Commander) roadmarch each quarter? BB Guard anyone???

 

These are a few of my favorite things.....

 

We used brake fluid on our jeeps. Scouts out! CSC Company 5/502nd Inf. BB.

 

Rock

2RO2.jpg

 

2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

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We used brake fluid on our jeeps. Scouts out! CSC Company 5/502nd Inf. BB.

 

Rock

 

Actually we used Suntan Oil, one time SOMEBODY made us squirrels very mad and we stuck a entire pack of American Bologna slices to the side of the track prior to and inspection.

Kinda looked like a wonder bread wrapper. w00t.gif

"The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis."

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One of my all time favorite photos of GI's in Europe from a 1981 recruiting brochure. I could never decide if it was staged or not... while it looks a bit hokey, I know of occaisions where things like this happened. There are more photos in this pamphlet which I will try to post later...

Army_Europe_Cover_small.JPG

Army_Europe_Cover_small_cover.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Actually we used Suntan Oil, one time SOMEBODY made us squirrels very mad and we stuck a entire pack of American Bologna slices to the side of the track prior to and inspection.

Kinda looked like a wonder bread wrapper. w00t.gif

 

I saw the lunch meat thing for the first time in Alaska :lol: during the winter.

I did not understand the joke untill watching the othercrew "TRY" to remove it in 10 degree weather.

Something about bologna and its magical bonding agent, the paint under the slices peeled like a bad sunburn leaving a snow buggy with freckles!

 

Well it seemed funny at the time.

 

T-Bone

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I saw the lunch meat thing for the first time in Alaska :lol: during the winter.

I did not understand the joke untill watching the othercrew "TRY" to remove it in 10 degree weather.

Something about bologna and its magical bonding agent, the paint under the slices peeled like a bad sunburn leaving a snow buggy with freckles!

 

Well it seemed funny at the time.

 

T-Bone

 

In the words of the great american sage, Larry the Cable Guy, "I don't care who ya are, that's funny right there" :lol:

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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I remember the whole BDU/OG107 mixing,me and Top always went rounds because in garrison I always wore the 107's (but Top they're fatigues and I'm doing fatigue type duty's not combat/field duty's).I know my gas mask was in my locker stateside and my helmet was under the seat on Team Spirit,my Alice pack was in the commo van and my butt pack was full of magazines.They always frowned on anything in your pockets,where else would one keep extra C's?I always had a 20 rd in my shirt pocket and a Gerber (green handled) Mk.2 on my LBE.I had a pilot survival knife on my belt and a Schrade in my pants pocket.That blue plastic decon practice kit had packs of camel filters and the wave guide box was full of beer and food.I remember the Ranger's testing Goretex, (in red and blue as it was civilian gear) on a climb of the glacier side of Mt. Ranier.As I recall the FAV (dune buggy's) were on loan from the Navy's Rec services for eval. they were a nasty flat gray color before they were repainted.Oh my! here I am just a ramblin on,forgive me!Come to think on it,I never was issued a bayonnet,in fact we had none in the armsroom to issue.We did have 2 M-14's for the designated marksmen.

 

P.S. I did bring home two of those red blank adapters,gave one to my cousin-in-law/ reenacting C.O. for his Nam 16.

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keep the photos coming on :) :)

 

will post a picture of some soldiers i met

here in norway.

they was based in manheim,they was from the AMF(L).

 

pictures of eating c rations and mres and camp life also wanted:)

 

cheers fromm ken

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Pictures? You want pictures?

 

More from the recruiting pamphlet "This is the Army in Europe" from 1981.

 

Or more correctly THIS IS THE ARMY IN EUROPE

 

Well, to start... according to the pamphlet, apparently Physical Training (PT) is more fun in Europe!

 

Note the unbloused fatigue shirts, white T-Shirts and shined boots. I suspect the boots were for the photo op. When I was over there we had gotten to the point of encouraging troops to run in a pair of boots that were broken in, and few of them looked this parade ready. Even as support troops we worked up to the level of running 10 miles in combat boots. Not long after I got out they came to the conclusion that this was a bad idea, and now use running shoes. My knees are still paying for this.

Army_Europe_PT.JPG

Army_Europe_PT_close.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Let's get back to some field gear shots...

 

Here's a couple from a picture from a Chaparral unit, which was another maintenance nightmare on treads as I remember.

 

The first one is a front view of an E-5 climbing out of the control area. Note that he is not grabbing the high voltage radio antennas. You can see his various pouches, shined boots, glaring white T-Shirt, and 3rd Armored patch. His E-5 collar rank looks to be pin on.

 

From the same photo you see another soldier. Of intrest here is his rolled poncho on the back of his web belt. I used to secure mine with two blousing bands hooked over top of them. This was handy until one or both of those bands popped and your poncho dragged behind you like a tail. Also notice the camo pattern on his helmet. And take note of how the worn brass portions on his web gear stand out like a shiny sore thumb. The solution was to constantly repaint them with this black goo that came in a little bottle from Ken Nolan, a military supplier of the time.

 

Even though this booklet was printed in 1981, the camo on the vehicles looks to be from the mid to late 1970's, prior to the later woodland scheme.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Pictures? You want pictures?

 

apparently Physical Training (PT) is more fun in Europe!

 

 

Gil, I ALWAYS knew PT was MORE fun somewhere else!

 

Ever heard of a "Beret March" ?

 

 

T-Bone

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A couple of shots of armor crewmen. Apparently the way to recruit young men is to entice them with heavy machine guns.

 

One photo shows a soldier wearing what looks to be a field jacket with a fur collar attached. I don't remember this arrangement. I am wondering if he borrowed the hood from a parka. You can just make out the subdued 3rd ID patch on his shoulder.

 

The other individual is wearing OG-107 fatigues with a 3rd Armored patch, a crewman's helmet, webgear with an inverted first aid pouch, and what looks to be a military issue watch. Sometimes these watches were issued, but often supply sergeants were reluctant to hand them out as they were an accountable item. However at times they could also be purchased through the Post Exchange.

Army_Europe_50_cal.JPG

Army_Europe_MG_2.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Even if you don't ride a tank or an APC, you can still fire a machine gun.

 

The original caption on this photo was: "We don't just put you behind a gun and throw you to the wolves. We have instructors to make you expert." How comforting.

 

Note the fading on the helmet covers. Some collectors have asked why used ones are hard to find. It is because with the cotton stretched over steel, they wore out rather quickly.

 

While still on the subject of heavy weapons, we have a Private in the 3rd Armored Division plotting fire direction data for a mortar team.

 

This is an interesting photo. Note the 5 buckle black over shoes we have been talking about. Also, and item I must have forced from memory is that cold weather cap he has neatly folded on his head. While based on the Korean War version, this one was streamlined so it would fit under your helmet. Folding them into this shape was an art, and not worth the time to do over and over again. I kept one in my helmet, and I kept one permanently folded with my Captain's bars on the front of it. Note that he is not wearing a field jacket, but is wearing the wool glove inserts. This is a uniform you would typically see in the late fall before it got super cold.

 

Also note the inexpensive "ribbon" name tape. These could be produced from a kit in your unit supply room. He wears metal pin on collar rank.

Army_Europe_MG.JPG

Army_Europe_Mortar_plot.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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A couple of photos that were meant to display the diversity of the US Army, but which also manage to provide a nice variety of headgear.

 

On the female Sp/4 note how the issue quality hat has forever lost its shape. This was typical, especially in a working environment. Note the heavy duty hearing protection she has hanging on her neck. Quite likely she is a mechanic for generators or other such equipment.

 

In contrast is the sharp looking private purchase red hat being worn by the Sergeant next to her. From what I understand these were common signifying different teams in the mid-1970's. By the time I arrived at Ft. Hood in 1978 they were officially frowned on and were being phased out in the Army. However I do remember still seeing the IG's maintenance inspection team in black hats (how appropriate!)

 

We see an example of a helmet with camouflage, and another issue hat showing what happens when exposed to mud, dirt and grease.

 

Our other photos show the effects of sun and dirt on helmets and helmet covers.

Army_Europe_headgear_1.JPG

Army_Europe_headgear_2.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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In contrast to these dirty, disheveled field troops we have the shining example of the Military Police, who some how manage to look sparkling in the middle of a mud hole!

 

Note the presence of a black MP armband with white lettering and color divisional insignia (hard to see on the side view, but it is there). This photo gives us a nice view of his field gear, and note the proper use of the pistol lanyard attached to his .45 and fixed to his shouilder. The ever present protective mask carrier is on his hip. To complete the picture we have pressed fatigues, shined boots, and a subdued ascot.

 

All kidding aside, it takes some measure of courage to direct traffic on a slippery, muddy trail in front of large machines with drivers sometimes having limited vision. I'll pass on the job, thank you.

Army_Europe_MP.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Achtung, Panzer!

 

Not that you will have one of these available for a weekend reenactment, but you can't talk about the US Army in Europe without tanks and APC's.

 

The photo of the tanks in the woods is interesting from a photographic and lighting standpoint. It was hard to take pictures of the Army in action sometimes because the woods lacked sunlight. So a lot of photos that you see have this same washed out and blurred effect because the photographer had to compensate for the lack of light.

 

The bumper marking on the lead tank reads 3/33 Armored of the 3rd Armored Divsion. Contrast the camo paint with the bright yellow searchlight cover. Also, it may just be the photo, but it looks like the camo pattern is only on the upper surfaces of the vehicle, while the bottom of the hull is plain OD. Once again this looks like a late 1970's camo pattern, featuring a black star on the front of the hull.

Army_Europe_50_tank_small.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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When the tanks weren't rolling through the fields and woods, they were rolling through the small towns and villages.

 

Truth be told, certain roadways near critical areas were reinforced to handle the weight of these vehicles.

 

Going through towns could be fraught with problems. Roads that were designed for carriages in 1620 were sometimes a bit narrow for an M60A1. While these seem to be breezing on through, often they had to inch along in certain towns to avoid taking out the corner of a house built in 1740. And sometimes we didn't quite make it...

 

Automobiles were another road hazard as well....

 

Notice our sharply dressed MP's from the 503rd keeping order. On his webgear he is wearing the small plastic container for issue ear plugs below his first aid pouch. These were a safety item and considered a legitimate part of the uniform. He wears what look to be pin on rank for an E-6 Staff Sergeant.

Army_Europe_tank_4_small.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Tanks of course required constant up keep. Note the level of mud on these uniforms. Does anyone know if this is Graf (Grafenwoehr)?

Army_Europe_tank_2.JPG

Army_Europe_tank_3.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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One of my favorite photos from this booklet..

 

Lt. Smith is telling SP/4 Jones where to place his APC to cover the high speed lane of approach. However, SP/4 Jones already knows where he is going to place his anti-armor team because he has already done it about a dozen times on this field exercise. He will place them where he knows they belong despite what Lt. Smith has told him because he knows when CPT Johnson comes through he will praise him for his keen eye and sense of the terrain!

 

Note the glaring white T-Shirt, and also the earplugs hanging from his shirt pocket. The SP/4 also has his name stenciled on his helmet.

 

Also observe again the mid-1970's camouflage scheme on the APC, as well as the dangerously high profile of the TOW team.

 

For more flash and bang, an artillery piece at Graf. This is probably late fall, as it looks like the mud is near frozen. There does not seem to be a single blade of grass in sight.

Army_Europe_APC_TOW.JPG

Army_Europe_Graf.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Can't forget Army Aviation.

 

I wanted to include the photo of the two soldiers working on the engine for the female SP/4. We've had some discussion about female fatigue uniforms on other threads on the forum. This soldier has opted to wear what look to be male fatigues. This would make sense as a) they were warmer, and B) they were more durable, both key considerations if you were working outside on a flight line. There was also the more subtle consideration of fitting in with the rest of the crew: female fatigues just made the wearer stand out from the rest of the team.

 

Also note she is wearing metal enlisted flight wings on her hat. This probably would not have been tolerated in the USAF or the USN for possible FOD damage to the engine should the insignia become loose. But then, this is the Army...

 

The sleeve insignia is most likely for 21st Support Command. Note the unit insignia on the Huey in the background. In contrast to previous photos the hats on these soldiers appear to have kept their shape.

Army_Europe_Helo_rmaint_small.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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And the result of all that maintenance work...

Army_Europe_Cobra_Europe_small.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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At the end of the day.. the satisfaction of a job well done.

 

As the booklet states:

 

There's an intensity in the Army in Europe. You can see it in the faces. A greater condentration on work, without the distractions of life back home.

 

There's a comaraderie. A closeness that comes from sharing new experiences with new friends in a country far different from your own.

 

There's an excitement, an anticipation, at the beginning of each new day that lasts until that day's final excercise comes to a close.

 

And you begin to feel the lead in your arms and back and feet. And your mind unwinds into thoughts of soft things and warmth and something to fill the emptiness in your gut. (I am not making this up!)

 

And you begin to feel good about yourself....

 

Should you enlist for Europe? Think about it. Talk it over with your local Army Representative. You could be a better person for it, and we, a better Army."

 

Our soldier writing home appears to be wearing ripstop ERDL. As he is a private, he is not a member of Special Forces, so it would be interesting to know what unit he was with to be authorized such a uniform. His helmet cover looks older than he is.

 

And of course, a tired but career satisfied grunts from the 3rd ID during an exercise debrief. Note the wool gloves as well as the fur collar.

Army_Europe_End_of_Day.JPG

Army_Europe_Writing_Home_ERDL.JPG

Army_Europe_Be_All_You_can_be_2.JPG

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Gil, I ALWAYS knew PT was MORE fun somewhere else!

 

Ever heard of a "Beret March" ?

T-Bone

 

PT is always more fun "somewhere else"! Not familiar with the term "Beret March". What would that be?

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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